2006 - Jade Parker
A young girl had Bilateral Retinoblastoma, a rare childhood eye cancer with treatment only available at the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. Her right eye has remained cancer free! Jade still lives in the neighborhood and just celebrated her 16th birthday and is enjoying high school; learning to drive and playing soccer.
2007 - West Forsyth HS Arts Department
Band Equipment – Ashebrooke helped fund the band instruments of the then new high school!!
2008 - Hyde Talbot
On February 1, 2011 Hyde became the 3rd person in the US (and the youngest by far at the time) to have a kidney transplant along with Soliris (Eculizumab) therapy. Hyde is doing very well and still lives in our neighborhood.
2009 - Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
2010 - Humble Heroes
Benefiting Forsyth county firefighter Mark Aycock and Sheriff Deputy Norman Woodward (Neighbor Patrick Apoian started Humble Heroes here locally).
2011 - Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Forsyth Ambulance Fund
To raise money for a dedicated transport ambulance at the CHOA Forsyth location in The Collections.
2012 - Cameron
Neuroblastoma Cancer (Last update on parents blog says he was cancer free).
2013 - Josiah Barfield
A young boy diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) He is now a 6 year old boy having completed his last heartsurgery in 2018. The Barfield family continues to raise awareness for HLHS.
2014 & 2015 - CASA of Forsyth County
CASA provides advocacy to court- involved children who have suffered abuse/neglect.
2016 - Peter Taylor
A former neighbor, Peter, was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis - no known cause. Though he is still paralyzed, he has made awesome progress! You can follow his story here.
2016 - Naomi Ziva
(Hal and Miriam Schmerer’s daughter) Naomi was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. Sadly, Naomi passed away in March 2018. Her inspirational journey through cancer was captured by her friends and family in a book, “Waiting for the Next Blue Sky."
2017 - Jennifer Delucia
Jennifer was diagnosed in March 2016 with Diffused Large B Cell Lymphoma. She went into remission in August 2016. Her cancer came back in early 2017. She had an Autologous Stem Cell Transplant and though all signs showed it was a successful procedure, she had
2018 - Laurie Leljedal
Laurie was in recovery from an unexpected diagnosis of breast cancer...cancer that she found via a self-examination a month after her annual mammogram. She is doing well and continues making it her platform to encourage and motivate women, despite
genetics or age, to self-examine... because it could save your life!!
2018 -Family Promise is a local organization whose mission is to empower and assist families who are experiencing homelessness. Their ultimate goal is help their families obtain sustainable independence.
2019 - Jason and Kelly Pellino
Jason and Kelly were given the opportunity to assume custody of Kelly’s niece and nephew, as Kelly’s brother and sister-in-law struggled with addiction. This illness adversely affected their family, creating an unstable environment for their children and compounding their special needs. The Pellino Family moved Wayne and Michelle into their home; providing stability and consistency so important for managing autism, ADHD and ODD.
2019 - Jennifer Delucia
Jennifer was a recipient for the second time. She was truly a valiant warrior and beloved neighbor who fearlessly and tirelessly fought a battle with lymphoma. Sadly, she passed away in January of 2020. She will forever be remembered.
2020 - Aidan Campbell
Aidan (a 16-year-old teenager at the time) endured a trying last half to 2020. Aidan was born with his sternum curving inward, putting his lungs and heart at potential risk as he grew. He underwent chest repair surgery in May 2020 to fix the condition. The surgery was a success, but the road to recovery was an uphill battle. Aidan spent the majority of the summer in and out of the hospital fighting infection. His journey continued into the Fall with the need to wear a wound vacuum that continuously performed surgical cleaning of three affected areas. Aidan was pleased to have the wound vac removed and remains cautiously optimistic about what lies ahead.
2020 - Sharon Ryles
Sharon Ryles is a dearly loved counselor and coach at West Forsyth High School. In April of 2020, she contracted a bacterial infection in her abdomen, followed by a rare form of pneumonia called cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (COP) in May. As if that wasn’t enough, she ended up back in the hospital in June due to respiratory failure. She required surgery to reroute her digestive track and faced another operation correcting a back injury sustained during a car accident in 2019. She was finally released from the hospital in late August, but continued to have aspiration difficulties. Sharon underwent another surgery to repair the issue.
2021 - The Siller Family: Gene Siller Memorial Grant in partnership with the Georgia PGA Foundation
Many of us might recall the day of July 3, 2021. This day we learned of the devastating news that one of our residents, neighbors and friends was tragically killed as an innocent bystander in a news story that catapulted to national attention. Gene Siller’s life was cut short by a hateful act, but his legacy lives on in the lives of those he impacted most – his family and friends, his Pinetree Golf Club comrades, the Professional Golf Association (PGA), and the countless number of junior golfers who will benefit from scholarships provided by the Gene Siller Memorial Grant.
The Gene Siller Memorial Grant was founded in Gene’s memory. As a golf professional, Gene loved what he did. He loved teaching, equipping, and mentoring aspiring golfers in the sport he cherished…especially young golfers. For those who play, you know that golf is a financially challenging sport for some kids to pursue. Gene would want nothing to hold anyone back from being able to pursue this sport, so this fund is purposed with ALL proceeds going towards covering costs for junior golfers to learn and play this game.
2021 - Steve and Sandy Dickerhofe have been long time Forsyth County residents. They have been active volunteers in their kids' schools as well as their greater community. (Sandy is who makes the beautiful ribbons that adorn mailboxes all over the area around graduation time.) They are truly a beautiful family in our community. The Dickerhofe Family experienced a tragic setback in April 2021 when Steve suffered a massive cerebral stroke while attending his son’s pre-prom party. He was rushed to North Fulton hospital where he had immediate brain surgery to remove the clots affecting two parts of his brain. This surgery was followed by another to remove part of his skull to relieve pressure on the brain.
The following weeks were filled with recovery in the hospital, rehab at Emory, and finally a month-long stint at Shepherd Spinal Center. He received top notch care through all these wonderful organizations and was discharged in July to start adjusting to his new normal at home. The future is not yet clear on what functionality Steve will regain, but his family remains optimistic as each day passes.
The financial strain on the Dickerhofe family is high. Mandatory adjustments have been made to their home to accommodate Steve’s loss of functionality. Steve is unable to return to work and the future of that prospect is unclear. Sandy is Steve’s 24-hour caregiver which makes it challenging for her to hold down a job.
Go HERE to read about this year's recipients.